Daniel Crockett Surface

December 3, 2011


Daniel Crockett Surface


Daniel Crockett Surface, age 68, of 343 Jay Trail, Murfreesboro, NC, died December 3, 2011 at Pitt Memorial Hospital, Greenville, NC. He was born September 30, 1943, to the late James Paul and Gertrude Keister Surface of Blacksburg, VA, and was the beloved son-in-law of the late Ernest and Dorothy Britt Pait of Dublin, NC.

He was a graduate of Blacksburg High School, Guilford College, and The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he earned a graduate degree in 1969, and had studied at other universities including William and Mary, East Carolina University and Virginia Tech. Athletics‚??playing, coaching, and being an administrator‚??at both the high school and college levels and the teaching of health and physical education for college students, especially future teachers, had been his life‚??s work. He believed in the power of education and athletics to transform lives. He dedicated over 40 years as a teacher, coach and mentor to helping young men and women better themselves through their experiences on the field or court and in the classroom.

He lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Blacksburg High School and in football and baseball at Guilford College where he was a member of the 1966 Baseball team that went to the NAIA National Baseball Tournament.

He had been a member of the Chowan University faculty for 37 years where his most recent faculty rank was as an Associate Professor of Physical Education. He coached football, track, men‚??s and women‚??s basketball, tennis, golf, and served as Assistant Athletic Director. He was honored to have coached in two Eastern Bowl Games that Chowan won and to have coached many student athletes who succeeded professionally. He was most proud of the life accomplishments and contributions of all of his students. In 2004, he was selected as a Chowan University Faculty Marshall, a position that he continued to serve with honor. In 2000, he was inducted into the Order of Lux et Veritas and in 2004, he was honored for thirty years of service to Chowan University.

Many young men benefited from the Chowan Football Camps that he directed for 15 summers. Both young people and adults benefited from the Red Cross certified Swimming Classes that he taught. When his children were young, his summers were spent as a Little League Coach. He also officiated for high school basketball games. He had also taught and coached at Floyd County High School in Floyd, VA, Greensboro City Schools, Greensboro, NC and Fairfax County VA Schools. Athletics was an important part of his life and he wanted to share that with others.

He was inducted into the Guilford College Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2005-2006 and into the Chowan University Jim Garrison Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2009. He loved Chowan University and Guilford College. A special highlight for him was the visits, calls, and notes form former students, players, teammates, coaches, and colleagues.

He was a member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church, where serving as an usher was important to him, and during the two months each year that he served, he was dedicated to serving each Sunday and every Sunday regardless of whatever else was happening with his life or health. He served as President of the Murfreesboro Exchange Club in 1999-2000 and was recognized as the Exchangite of The Year for 2004-2005. He was a kind, quiet and selfless man who lived his beliefs and was committed to serving others in all aspects of his life.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 42 years, Sallie P. Surface; his children Dr. Eric A. Surface of Raleigh, NC, Julianne Surface of Apex, NC, and Brian and Jessica Surface of Shekou, China; his grandchildren Olivia Rose and Ian Daniel Surface of Shekou China; his brother and sister-in law David and Ann Surface of Blacksburg, VA;his sisters-in-law and their husbands Judy and Paul Pinkston of Lancaster, SC and Gayla and Chris Putnam of Apex, NC; his brother-in-law and his wife Ernie and Beckie Pait of Franklin, NC; a special niece and nephew who are like grandchildren, Grace and Joel Putnam; his many special nieces, nephews and cousins; and his many dear friends and colleagues.

He was especially proud of the educational accomplishments of his children, who all earned advanced degrees, and the choices that they had made in life. One of the joys of his life was pulling his grandchildren‚??Olivia and Ian‚??in a red wagon built for two that he had personally picked out for them. Another joy was spending time with family and friends‚??he was always interested in others and how they were doing and loved to talk with people. His love of ice cream and sweets was legendary; he was never known to turn down a cone.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, December 10, 2011, Turner Auditorium, Chowan University, Murfreesboro NC. The family will receive friends in the Chowan Room of Thomas Cafeteria after the service and at other times at their home.

Memorials may be made to the Daniel C. Surface Scholarship Fund at Chowan University, 1 University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855.

Online condolences may be made to www.garrettjonesfh.com.

Garrett-Jones Funeral Home in Ahoskie is serving the Surface family.

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John Wooten
11 years ago

Mr. Surface has meant so much to the Community and to my own Family directly for so many years as a neighbor, educator, Little League Baseball Coach and church member. Murfreesboro and Chowan University have long benefited from Mr. Surface’s intellect, commitment, kindness and compassion.

Our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with Dan’s wonderful Family at this time, and always.

Freddie Davis
11 years ago

To the family of Coach Dan Surface my heart goes out to you. As an athlete at Chowan I came to know Coach in the classroom, and on the fields. He was a man that I looked up to, and he inspired me greatly. He was a great example of how a man should carry himself, and I would like to think that he helped to mold me into the person I am today. Coach always would talk to you and smile, never offering advice unless you asked for it. However if you asked he would always tell you everything he knew about the subject. I was shocked to hear of his passing on the internet, and wish I had known earlier. To the family, you know how special he was, and his memory will last forever in my heart, and know that you all will see him again, as I know where he is. Coach lived his life the way a man should and meant a lot to me in my life. God Bless your family.

Freddie H. Davis Class Of 1981

Chowan College Sports Hall Of Fame Member

CEO Global Shippers Assoc.L.L.C.

Roger Lovern
11 years ago

Sally ,

As I told you on the phone, Danny was someone who was special. That smile of

his was always there as he kept a positive attitude in everything he did.

I know he will always be remembered by all as that person who was kind,loyal, caring, thoughtful, understanding, thankful, and a friend. I will miss him and was lucky to have him as a friend. God bless you and your family.

Matt Wooten
12 years ago

Our thoughts and prayers go out the Surface family. Dan was our neighbor of Jay Trail for all of our childhood and all three of Dan and Sally’s children were our best of friends through school and sports. My fondest memories of Dan are those of him coming home from coaching football to find myself and his youngest son Brian cutting football lines in his nice grass in the front lawn to create our own football field. Great memories and he will be truly missed.

Brett McPherson
12 years ago

Sorry to hear of passing of Coach Surface, played for him back in 83-83 at Chowan. Honest,straight-forward and a strong work ethic were the attributs I remember the most. My condolences to his family.

Lynn Snider Cooper
12 years ago

Mr.& Mrs. David Surface

I was shocked to read of Daniel’s passing. I know how very much he meant to each of you. Please know you both as well as other members of Danny’s family are in my prayers. May God Bless you both and hold you in his arms through this most difficult time.

12 years ago

Mrs. Surface, Eric, Julianne, and Brian, thoughts of deep and sincere sympathy are with you all at this time

Kirk & Rachel Peterson
12 years ago

Sallie and family,

Kirk and I are saddened to hear of Dan’s passing. He was truly a cornerstone at Chowan and Kirk learned a great deal from him. He will be dearly missed. We believe that Dan taught his students theory, but more importantly how to be better citizens. Dan was always thoughtful and kind.

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

With deepest sympathies,

Dr. Kirk & Rachel Peterson

Mary Harris
12 years ago

Sally, Eric, Julianne, and Brian.

Know that my thoughts and prayers are with each of you.

I feel privileged that our lives crossed paths. May the good Lord put his loving arms around each of you and give you comfort and peace.

Ben Godwin
12 years ago

We are sorry for your loss You and your family are in our prayers We thought a lot of Dan He will be greatly missed by all that knew him He was a dear friend to me I will always remember our talks together May God Bless You all